Blading pulls, good or bad?

  • August 22, 2018 at 5:42 pm #1562
    Christian Schneider

    During recent tournaments I encountered more teams using blading pulls in windy conditions to being able to set up D on a sideline.

    The issue was most pressing at WCBU 2017 in Royan (but also present at Worlds in Cincinnati and Winnipeg): With the beach field being smaller a lot of players can throw a blade directly into the end zone.
    This makes the strategy more appealing for D (only giving the depth of the end zone compared to a pull to the back of the end zone) and more annoying for O because the disc sometimes – pushed by the wind – rolled 20 meters out the back, making retrieval of the disc time consuming.

    While one can argue that it adds a new strategy – giving up some distance for trapping the O on the sideline – I found it more disrupting than interesting because the start of the point was delayed by the time needed to fetch the disc.
    Theoretically there could be replacement discs ready for this but in reality I’ve only seen replacement discs at World Games.
    As a countermeasure teams started to line up their side-line in that area to stop the rolling discs but that feels weird and there are playing fields / events where sideline is only allowed on one side of the field (to protect the field or not interfere with cameras/spectators).

    A little bit of history: Back in the day the Brick distance was increased from 9m to 18m to punish out-of-bounds pulls harder because people had started to intentionally pull out of bounds to set up their D and the community deemed that undesirable.

    That’s why I propose to change the Brick rule to include pulls rolling out of bounds.

    The rule change would be minimal:
    7.12. If the disc contacts the out-of-bounds area without first touching the playing field or an offensive player, the thrower may establish the pivot either at the brick mark closest to their defending end zone, …


    August 22, 2018 at 5:57 pm #1563
    Benji Heywood

    I don’t personally think such a change is necessary. Those pulls require sufficient skill on a full grass field that I’m OK with them being rewarded.

    The rule is often changed for indoors, in many countries, where the full-pitch blade is so very easy and wastes very valuable hall time. There is perhaps an argument for a beach rule change (I’m not convinced – the issues are definitely less severe than for indoors). But I would certainly say it’s very unlikely to change in the main outdoor rules.

    The obvious downside is that it significantly shrinks the field for pullers, even for ordinary flattish pulls. If a disc that slides/rolls out is a brick, that means a decent number of what are currently very good pulls would become bricks. And the roller pull upwind would be a brick so often that it would lose a great deal of value.

    I think the rule change would reduce variety in the game without good reason. As i say, it might be worth looking at for beach – not something I have much input on – but I would very much expect no changes in the main grass rules.

    August 23, 2018 at 5:14 pm #1564
    Christian Schneider

    I don’t agree with the “require sufficient skill on a full grass field that I’m OK with them being rewarded” argument for the following reasons:
    – The pulls I’ve seen aimed for a 2/3 of the field reach, that’s around 40m and I (being a medium level thrower) can do that, i.e. skill level medium
    – Throwing out of the back requires more skill but we still deem it undesirable and punish it with the brick option
    – Done badly it can bend/damage the disc

    Interestingly enough the videos on both your articles

    and especially

    illustrate what I’m talking about:
    Do you really think the stop of play and setup time after the pull makes for an exciting game or would you rather have the game start immediately like in the “bad” first pull in the video on the later page?

    On the other hand I don’t think keeping the pull stay in the field is that big a deal and if it requires skill then by your argument should be rewarded. I very much like your thoughts at

    that a good pull doesn’t only have to be about length and hang time can be more important.

    August 23, 2018 at 5:48 pm #1565
    Benji Heywood

    Interesting thoughts. I think there’s a difference between a pull that lands out the back and one that rolls out, which is that the offence could in theory have no chance to stop one that is flying over them. A disc that rolls out of bounds has always either been stoppable by the offence, in bounds, or is short enough that in one sense it has received its own ‘punishment’.

    I wouldn’t say that landing out and rolling out are necessarily the same thing, both for the reasons I mentioned before (‘good’ pulls sliding out, or rolling out on a severe crosswind even when you tried to keep them in) and because rollers are either stoppable or short.

    But I do take your overall point. There’s no obvious inviolable principle such that the rules wouldn’t make sense without it. There’s in a sense no hugely logical reason to choose between ‘pulls must land in the field’ and ‘pulls must stay in the field’. I’d be surprised if the suggested change turned out to be popular though.

    August 23, 2018 at 5:58 pm #1566
    Christian Schneider

    One argument for changing the rule would be to keep indoor and beach rules (where the rule change could be considered more beneficial) in line with the main outdoor rules.
    But I agree that so far there was little thought spent on this but over time the issue might come up again, and then you heard it here first 🙂

    August 23, 2018 at 6:09 pm #1567
    Benji Heywood

    Ha – but the indoor rule can’t be the one you mentioned. 🙂

    On a hard court, it would be extremely difficult to make sure the disc didn’t slide out of bounds. Your rule about staying in bounds would be unworkable. Indoor pull rules vary from outdoors (in different ways in the different countries) but not usually in a way that could easily be translated to outdoors.

    August 23, 2018 at 6:15 pm #1568
    Christian Schneider

    The field being smaller I think it is well possible to keep it in bounds, even with the sliding. But that requires skill again which you are a big fan of I thought 😉
    It would require to people to focus on hang time instead of getting as close to the edges of the field but I’m not against that.

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